Well, it took me a while, but I finally made it through all of the 12 non-alcoholic beer samples that were generously provided to me by Ted Fleming, founder of PremiumNearBeer.com
While it is heartening to see that the breadth of choice for beer drinkers looking to reduce their alcohol intake has greatly increased, sadly, many of the offerings available are still more near than beer when it comes to truly replicating the taste of a full alcohol brew.
Nevertheless, there were some standout bottles and one clear winner—which, as it turned out, was also the last sample I tried.
Krombacher Weizen Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage (Germany) WINNER
Pours a cloudy deep yellow. Sweet cereals on the nose with a hint of banana. The inescapable near-beer sweetness on the palate actually works in this beer’s favour and compliments the plentiful banana notes. A great summer
Krombacher Pils Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage (Germany)
In my books, Krombacher is the industry leader when it comes to low-alcohol beer. (Although I wouldn’t recommend their Radler unless you like the taste of sickly-sweet lemonade splashed with beer foam.) I’m not a huge fan of German Pils, but this near beer does a great impression of a real one. Lots of grains on the nose and palate with the sweetness well tempered.
Texas Select Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage (USA)
Smooth and easy drinking. Not too sweet on the palate and highly reminiscent of Coors Light. Perfect for staying hydrated in the hot Texas sun while clearing brush on your ranch under the watchful eye of your Secret Service detail.
Super Bock Pilsner Alcohol Free (Portugal)
Pours clear yellow. Hint of classic pilsner grain on the nose. Very light on the palate with a lasting finish.
All of these and more are available for purchase at PremiumNearBeer.com